What differences does a working dog have from a non working one - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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What differences does a working dog have from a non working one

Hello everyone , so my question is basically this what differences (responsibilities,temperament of the dog etc.) will i notice between a working dog and a non working one?I imagine a dog confident in any enviroment , confident around people and dogs (not scared of dogs to protect himself) , more energetic and suspicious of people if its a personal protection one(maybe agressive).Am i close? Thanks
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 05:47 AM
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I believe any well bred German Shepherd should be confident, able to relax yet be energetic. Having a trained personal protection dog is way above and beyond that. Is that what you are speaking about in the end of your statement? Know your breeder, look at the dogs, ask questions about their pedigrees. There are many good breeder of Working Line and Show line GSDs.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 06:03 AM
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any gsd, working or non, should be confident in new environments (not overly skittish, show some curiosity, etc) and should be aloof but not suspicious of strangers. working dogs shouldn't be suspicious of every person they see and they should never be aggressive towards someone simply because they are a stranger.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 10:06 AM
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Personally, the biggest difference I see is the energy level and drives of a working line are higher than those of a non working line. While it is true that a well bred German Shepherd should be confident, etc., you have to do your research to know and find a well bred German Shepherd. It's not puppies in someone's back yard, nor someone who has a website and has bred a lot of litters. The breeder should be 'doing something' with his or her dogs other than breeding them and there should be all the health tests being done prior to breeding. But that is a whole different thread, and one that can be found already on here.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 10:12 AM
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For a German Shepherd, I feel that the difference between a working and non working dog,.....is a dog that is confident and willing to perform( the work) outside of their home or territory. Whether it be herding, seeing eye dog, tracking, search and rescue, military, LE, etc, these are the functions that the German Shepherd has proven to excel and should have the traits to do at least one of these tasks.
There are other things such as guard dog/home protector that they have been utilized as, but unlike the Doberman which was created for that type of work, the herding dog has a wider range of function.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 02:47 PM
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Also don't get intimidated by WLs as I have been for decades. I have one now and she is fabulous. She does need a good amount of play and exercise every day to be the dog she is. But there are days when I am not up to it and she adjusts. I would say that the most important trait of a WL is confidence and stability. You don't want a neurotic worker. Check the parents and don't get impressed by websites alone as WLs can be a way of marketing.
And...as a bonus: their beauty.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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In some of my walks with my dog , even through i avoid them , there are stray dogs that come on us barking (no attacks so far thank god) and my dog is very scared and takes a stance with the head and ears low and tries to run away while on leash.On the contrary my cousins pitbull will react confident and will bark (ready to fight).So when i thought about gsd i knew it was a herding dog , if that was wolves attacking he should have reacted with conficence and attacked those dogs/wolves to protect the sheep.Am i right or am i missing something?I believe it to be a temperament fault in my dog. (weak nerves??)
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 05:16 PM
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How old is your dog Jaspar?
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 05:17 PM
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Chances are your dog has genetically weak nerves and lacks confidence. Nerve has a strong genetic component, and unfortunately breed alone does not dictate nerve strength in each individual dog. And confidence doesn't always mean rising to the occasion and barking - a fear based response can also be reactive, meaning when something is "scary", the dog barks, hackles, and tries to appear more imposing so that the other dog or threat does not approach. There's a dog in my current obedience class that is the classic fear reactive dog. Hackles up, body turned, ears down, snarling at any dog that passes by. In my opinion, confidence is calm and collected.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaspar View Post
In some of my walks with my dog , even through i avoid them , there are stray dogs that come on us barking (no attacks so far thank god) and my dog is very scared and takes a stance with the head and ears low and tries to run away while on leash.On the contrary my cousins pitbull will react confident and will bark (ready to fight).So when i thought about gsd i knew it was a herding dog , if that was wolves attacking he should have reacted with conficence and attacked those dogs/wolves to protect the sheep.Am i right or am i missing something?I believe it to be a temperament fault in my dog. (weak nerves??)
I am not so sure why you would want your dog to fight other dogs. If your dog is acting fearful, could it be because it is on a leash, can't get away and does not trust you to defend him or back him up? If he would fight and got his ear ripped off, would you be happy with that outcome?

I would not compare your dog to other breeds not even remotely related for the purpose for which they are bred. You will only disappoint yourself and not appreciate the great qualities in your own breed.

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